Attorney Fees in Louisville, Kentucky
Chapter 13 Attorney Fees
The Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney fees in Kentucky are flat fees. Inexperienced attorneys are paid exactly the same and the best attorney in town. Hire an inexperienced lawyer and you get a poor lawyer. Better attorneys can request and get additional fees if they can prove they saved their client money by doing additional work. The court only approves attorney fees that saved the client or estate money. Any additional fees are paid by the court from money you were paying to unsecured creditors. Basically hiring a better lawyer in a Chapter 13 costs the debtor no more than the bad attorney.
Attorneys are paid a flat fee of 3750 in the Western District of Kentucky, and 3500 in the Eastern District of Kentucky from payments made to the Chapter 13 Trustee. You are far better off using the best attorney you can find in a Chapter 13 case because an experienced attorney will save you money and property and the cost of your attorney largely comes out of the pocket of the banks.
Chapter 7 Attorney Fees
The 2017 average wage for a worker in Kentucky was about 44,000 per year. Nationwide the attorney fee for filing a normal Chapter 7 uncontested bankruptcy is about the same as a nice GE refrigerator at Lowes, 1400 to 1800 dollars. It has been about the price of a refrigerator for the last 30 years. It normally costs 200 more to file as a couple than as a single person because the case becomes a little more complex. If you pay less than a fair wage you normally get less services or poor attorney skills. Over 90 percent of Consumer Chapter 7 cases are uncontested and take the same amount of work. However if you have been sued and own a home you may need to file an additional motion to strip a judgment lien which will cost about an additional 500. If you fail to remove the lien, you pay the lien later.
In 2017 the average Chapter 7 bankruptcy fee nationwide was about 1800 dollars plus the 335 filing fee. To file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy a client also has to take a Credit counseling before filing which costs about 10-40 dollars and a Credit Counseling after which costs another 10-40 dollars. Go to the cheap course providers and you may have to wait to get the certificate or it may be a poor course. The nicer places are open 24 hours a day and answer the phone within 2 rings with someone who speaks English.
Attorney fees in the Louisville area are very low for the nation. From 2005 to 2014 I did not see any bankruptcy attorney fee increase in the Louisville area for Chapter 7 cases. However in June 2014 the fees including the filing fee is having a huge increase. At some point they had to go up because rent, insurance, utilities and wages for office staff go up. The average bankruptcy office will process about 80 cases per month for a 15 employee office. This is about 5 cases per employee so the average bankruptcy attorney here is not making enough to encourage good attorneys to become bankruptcy attorneys and the field of attorneys is crowded with poor attorneys. After rent, advertising, utilities and taxes it doesn’t leave enough money to pay fair wages. The average starting salary for qualified attorneys is 75 – 100,000 per year depending on experience and ability. Unless we charge a fair wage we can’t afford to serve clients or hire good people. We have to collect up front or we become a creditor and violate ethical rules that can get us and the client into trouble. Some attorneys will allow payments over time but won’t file the case until it is paid for. Clients who pay a fair wage are appreciated, treasured and treated well. If you expect paralegals and secretaries to save your home and property they must be paid a fair wage .
The average person that reads our free book on bankruptcy makes about 8,000 dollar more from their bankruptcy than someone that doesn’t know and understand how to properly file. If you want to really save money in your Chapter 7 do your homework and help as part of your team that files the case. By working with and hiring a qualified attorney you will save money and time on your Chapter 7 case. But expect to pay about the price of an average refrigerator with the understanding that a more involved case and extra services to strip a second mortgage will cost an extra couple of hundred. If your attorney is doing the cases cheaply be wary.
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